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Inspired Art Photogaphy

Guide to Digital Photography

Buying a Digital Camera
PhotographyBuying a digital camera can be confusing. Think about what you want to do with the camera before you begin the search. Many people buy the wrong camera for their needs and become very disappointed in their selection, think before you buy!
Cameras  Photography Glossary Manufacturers  Photographic Eduaiton 
Camera Repair Types of Cameras Glossary Manufacturers Education
What to Consider:
1. What do you plan to shoot?
2. Where do you plan to take the pictures?
3. What kind of pictures do you plan to take?
3. How much time do you want to spend setting up your pictures?
4. What kind of subjects do you plan to shoot?
5. Do you want to become a professional or just an amateure?
6. How much money do you want to send?
Picking the Camera:
1. Do your homework and check the internet and the different stores.
2. Check out the different models. Does it feel right for you?
3. Review what each can and can not do.
4. Will it work for you if you are left handed?
5. Do you want a used or new camera?
6. Can you afford it?
7. How long of a guarantee does it  have and what will it cover or not cover?
8. What kinds of lenses, filters, flash cards and flashes are available?
9. How often do you realistically plan to use the camera?
10. If you are not planning to make a living from your desire for camera do you really want to get a unit that has features you will never use and at a price you really cannot afford.
Decision Time:
1. Do comparison shopping!
2. Talk to the salesperson and get them to explain the main functions of the camera. This is something this is difficult online.
3. Ask specific questions about the camera. If you don't like the answers move on to another store.
4. Take a photography class. Many wantabe photographers become frustrated and stop shooting because they don't know the basics of the art.
5. Read the directions that come with the camera and also look up tips on the internet such as The Classroom.
Read more: Buying Guide
General Tips
What do you plan to do with the camera?
Snap Shots-inexpensive one time Point and Shoots or Smart Phones
Creative, imaginative pictures-SLRcamera with a minimum of 6 megapixs.
Where do you plan to take the picture?
General areas where lighting is good-Point and Shoot or Smart Phone

Specific areas with soft lighting-6+ megapix SLR camera.
How much time do you want to spend setting up your picture?
Quick shots with no thoughts-inexpensive Point and Shoot or Smart Phone.
Artistic, mind-blowing pictures- 6+ megapixs. SLR camera.
What kind of subjects do you plan to shoot?
General snapshots-Point and Shoot or Smart Phone.
Portraits, scenic, action or night pictures-
6+ megapixs. SLR camera
How much money do you want to spend?
You get what you pay for in cameras!
Do research and get reviews!
Bells and Whistles
Symbols and Icons
Digital cameras have symbols that help you chose what you want to do with the image check out our chart to see what they mean.
Megapixels
A megapixel equals 1,000,000 pixels. This term is used to describe the image capacity of the camera. The higher the megapixel the larger and sharper the image. Read more at Wikipedia and Camera About.com
Noise
The graininess of a picture caused by too little light or too high an ISO setting read more at: Photoxels
ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
The measure of light sensitivity in creating an image Read more at: Re: iso in digital camera's
Digital Zoom Lenses
A built in device that makes the image appear closer by taking away part of the the mage and enlarging it. I don't recommend you using this feature because it removes vital parts of an image. Read more at Types of Digital Lenses
Flash Card, CF Card Memory Card
These handy cards replaces films in a digital camera. They come in a variety of sizes and capacities. The larger the number the higher the capacity. Remember to buy a type that matches your camera. Smart Phones have no cards. Read more at Memory Cards.
File Formats
These are the forms images are stored in your Cards and Computer. The four most used are RAW, TIFF, JPEG and GIFF. Each of the different formats determine the amount of information that is contained in the image. They range from RAW with the most information to GIF with the least. RAW allows you to make very large pictures while GIFF and JPEG are great for Emails, Websites, and Texts. My choice is JPEG. Read more at Graphic File Formats, Image File Formats, Wikipedia and Digital Image File Types
Battery
The battery is the life blood of the digital camera. Unfortunately it is a power hog, so making the right choice in the purchase is very important. Nothing is more frustrating than to have your battery run out in the middle of a shoot.
1. Buy only the type of battery that fits your camera.
2. Buy nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.
3. Buy rechargeable batteries (this will save you a great deal of money)
4. Buy more than one battery.
5. Buy and use a portable recharger.
6. The battery icon on your camera is the best power indicator keep an eye on its levels.
7. Insert the battery correctly as shown in the manual.
8. Limit shooting in freezing weather (cold will drain it quickly)
8. Turn off the monitor to save energy.
9. Use an AC adapter.
10. Use a small resolution to save energy,
11. Shut down the camera for a short time if the indicator is flashing or replace the battery
Lighting
Lighting can play a crucial roll in making a great picture instead of a snapshot. Understanding the direction the light is coming from, the amount of light available and the softness as well as the harshness of the light can determine the quality of your work. Hot spots can happen if you take pictures in an area under a tree. People will squint if the light is in their eyes. Flare will happen if you point eh camera in the wrong direction. So take into account the light around you, in front and behind you.  decide what effects you want before hitting the shutter release. Wait if the light is not what you want and adjust your setting appropriately.
Picture Problems
Every what is a flare? or have you notice the feared "redeyes"on a precious image? Answers can by found at Questions and  Answers.
Trade Secrets
1. Never shoot facing the sun.
2. Avoid shooting subjects with the sun in their face (causes squinting).
3. Avoid shooting picture with a mirror or glass as a backdrop (causes a spot of light on the image).
4. Check the picture completely before pressing the shutter release. Careful scan the image from one side of the viewfinder to the other. Make sure everything is the way you want it.
5. Avoid taking a picture were something is bright red. The viewer will see the red and miss the rest of your picture.
6. Shoot before 11am and after 1pm. Those are the best times for shadows without glare.
7. Check what is behind the subject  to avoid poles, branches and other objects you don't want in your image.
8. Avoid putting the main subject in the center of the image this is called bulls eyeing, have them slightly off center.
9. Be patient! Many a great picture took time to create.
10 In shooting with low light, use a tripod and set your exposure controls accordingly. This will avoid soft and or images that are out of focus.
11. Besure you have plenty of CF Cards. Running of of them can be a bummer.
12. Besure you check and change your batteries regularly. Leaving a battery in a camera for a long period of time can cause real damage.
13. At first keep a running record of your images and compare the results with your records. thus you know what you did wrong and you can delete your bad images.
14. Talk to professionals and advanced amateurs that can be a valuable source of information.
15. Take a photography class.
16. Read the manual, not all cameras, flashes and lenses are alike. Controls and capabilities can very from one to another. Furthermore practice with the cameral before you shoot those images.
17. The best way to learn how to take pictures by by taking pictures and learning from your mistakes.
Created by Inspired Art Sandy Arroyo Photographic Artist Thanks for the help of Berrie Smith of Berrie Smith Photography
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